Struggles Student Journalists Face While Reporting on Rowan Events and Activities

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For the past month, Rowan events, classes and internships have moved to virtual except for a few outliers. Even homecoming, which is usually a week for Rowan students, faculty and alumni to gather around and celebrate being Rowan Profs, has now become virtual.

The university is definitely trying their best to have everything resume back to normal as long as they can adhere to social distancing guidelines. Students and faculty are anxious to go back to the campus to resume their normal routine. 

Not only are Rowan events and activities an outlet for students to not think about schoolwork and participate in fun activities, but they are also chances for journalism majors to do assignments for their journalism classes. It is a way for students to get a feel for what it is like to cover events and learn the basics of reporting. It is essentially a preview for what to expect when they pursue journalism as their careers.

That is certainly not the case this semester so far as a lot of events are being held virtually either via Zoom or Webex. While the event still carries on normally, students don’t get the full experience of being there live and in-person because they’re either at home or a quiet spot on campus. 

I do applaud the people still holding events and activities and adapting to the current situation. As the old saying goes, “the show must go on.” Would it be nice for the events to be back in a normal, in-person setting again? Yes, but it will take time.

What I am excited about moving forward is seeing events go back to the in-person setting. I am excited for establishing a relationship with those who are holding events and creating a good rapport with them. Though wearing a mask would be smart in this case, I would love to see people interacting with each other like in years past. 

Getting genuine reactions from the participants is what makes an article or story have more depth. Student reporters no longer see that since the events are virtual, and very few people will tell how they are having fun at an event if they are at home. However, this is my own assumption as others may feel different about it.

Things will be back to normal soon and our lives will be back to normal. We will be able to experience everything that Rowan has offered in the past that made the experience fun for students and faculty. This is only temporary as everyone is still trying to figure out what to do while trying to maintain policies that are safe for everyone.

It will take a lot of time and patience but sooner than later, those who are still trying to gain experience as a journalist through class assignments will have that opportunity again. 

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